Best Times to Visit Canada
Best Times to Visit Canada
The best time to visit Canada during the summer is from late-June to mid-October. The temperatures are comfortable, and the weather doesn’t overdo the rain and clouds. If you are looking for prime ski conditions, then January and February are the best times to visit Canada in the winter.
Granted, the ideal conditions during these times mean crowds, planning far in advance, and high costs for transportation and lodging. If your goal is to avoid this, the best time to visit Canada is during the pre-seasons and post-seasons. Late-April to mid-June, late-October to mid-November, December and March are just a bit chillier and/or rainier than what’s ideal, and you could end up with big savings.
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So far, this is just a broad overview of what to plan around. Keep reading for a more in-depth, region-by-region, month-by-month guide.
Where and When
Western Canada | May to October, December to April
The summer average temperature is at its highest in July, at 25°C. The winter average is at its lowest at -1°C, in January.
The Canadian Rockies are Western Canada’s prime outdoor destinations that serve both summer and winter crowds. In the summer, warm weather makes for great hiking and outdoors sightseeing. In the winter, this region of Canada becomes one of the world’s snow sports capitals. Special sites like Banff National Park, Jasper National Park, Lake Louise and Victoria Glacier are must-sees. Rail travel through the Canadian Rockies is an especially unique experience.
Vancouver is Western Canada’s big, scenic city. A glass-tower metropolis that also moonlights as culinary capital, thriving arts scene and outdoor wonderland. You might even want to visit Vancouver in an off-peak month, in January or December.
Eastern Canada | June to September, February to March
Eastern Canada is quite cold in the winter, with the average low reaching -10°C in December. Its summer average high goes up to 26°C in July.
Québec City is a famous winter destination because of its Ice Hotel, the only one in North America. If you can brave the cold, you’re in for a rare kind of hotel experience. Outside of that, you can experience the city’s blend of old French and new world culture and history.
Niagara Falls, not just an Eastern Canada must-see of course, is a go-to destination in the summer peak season, but seeing its roaring falls edged with snow can be just as stunning during cooler seasons.
Month by Month
January - March
With so much cold, this season is mostly snow sports and outdoors phenomena like moose with snow-crowned antlers and Northern Lights. In Québec, there’s the Winter Festival, which is the world’s largest winter carnival full of ice and snow sculptures and other winter-festive attractions, during the last weekend of January and into February. There’s also the Québec Ice Hotel to see as well. By March, you’ll be seeing average max temperatures of 2°C to 5°C.
You can get hit with a lot of rain in April, but at least the weather starts to warm up, especially along the west coast. Vancouver becomes more walkable. High up in the Rockies, though, it’s getting towards the very end of ski season. In April, you’ll see an average high of 12°C.
May is whale-watching season along the Atlantic coast. Otherwise, temperatures are starting to warm up and the plants are starting to bloom. Parks and resorts are in off-season, revving up for large crowds. Many attractions might still not be open to the public as they prepare trails and facilities. In May, you’ll see an average high of 18°C.
June is the start of the peak summer season for travelling Canada’s outdoors. Hiking trails are cleared and open, lakes and rivers are thawed out and all the things that walk on four legs have woken up. The wild landscapes in Canada’s northern regions are unveiled by melting snow. Average high temperatures from June to August go from 20°C to 25°C.
September to October
If you’re not so keen on warm weather, autumn is a good time to visit Canada while still getting the best out of the country. Not only do the crowds thin out, you also get stunning fall colours. It’s also a good time to follow wildlife tours as migratory paths get a lot of traffic, especially rivers filled with salmon that are visited by hungry bears fattening up hibernation. Average September high temperatures hover around 20°C, while October cools off significantly with average high temperatures dropping to around 14°C.
November to December
During these times, night comes quicker and snow starts to fall. Still, it’s the holiday season, with festive events and opening ice rinks making great activities for families. Just be prepared for the cold. Because it gets cold this far up north.
If this guide to the best times to visit Canada is giving you ideas, have a look at our Canada travel package and contact us for more information.